Greek president dissolves new parliament, announces fresh elections on June 25

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The next time parliament will convene is on July 3, says local media

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou has dissolved the new parliament and announced new elections set for June 25, local media reported on Monday.

Under a decree, which was also signed by caretaker Prime Minister Ioannis Sarmas and Cabinet ministers, the next time parliament will convene is on July 3, following the fresh polls, said the state-run AMNA news agency.

The last elections, held on May 21, were inconclusive, with the ruling New Democracy (ND) party winning 40.79% of the vote – a plurality but not enough to form a single-party government, as ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis hoped to do.

The next day Mitsotakis returned the mandate to form a government, saying he wanted fresh polls for New Democracy to form a single-party government.

Despite the landslide victory, Mitsotakis was still five seats short of being able to produce a single-party government in the 300-deputy parliament -- and declined the option of forming a coalition.

Under a new electoral law that comes into play in the next ballot, the winner can obtain a bonus of up to 50 seats, facilitating the goal of securing a majority of at least 151 lawmakers.

The stakes could not be higher for Tsipras, the former radical who took on Greece's EU-IMF creditors whilst in power in 2015 and nearly crashed the country out of the euro in the process.

The 48-year-old engineer has now lost four straight elections at local, national and European levels to former McKinsey consultant Mitsotakis, 55.

After the June ballot, local elections will also be held in October, leaving precious little time for Tsipras' leftist Syriza party to recalibrate its approach.

Tsipras is also under pressure from the socialist Pasok-Kinal party of 44-year-old former Eurodeputy Nikos Androulakis, which is making a revival nearly a decade after being discredited during the country's debt crisis.

Tsipras last week said he takes "full responsibility" for the defeat, which he called a "painful shock", while vowing to prevent the formation of a right-wing government in the next round.

Last Tuesday, Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition SYRIZA party, and Nikos Androulakis, leader of the social-democratic PASOK, also turned down the mandate, saying they could not form a coalition government.

On Wednesday, Ioannis Sarmas, former head of the Court of Audit, was sworn in as the caretaker prime minister until the next elections.